The academic writing that formally identified society’s need to be informed about scientific findings, as well as scientists’ need to explain science to society, originated within the developed world when science began to exert an overt influence on the daily life of people. The same need became apparent in developing countries over a similar period. The topic of science communication, together with debates around the development of science and technology and the need for the public to understand science, appeared in policy documents of colonial as well as post-colonial governments in India and Africa. Public communication of science and technology was seen as a means of both advancing and understanding science. The well-documented historical environment inherited from the developed world

supported and informed the initial desire to bridge the communication gap between the world of science and that of the general public. Scientists and academics from both worlds designed models through which the public was studied, science reporting was evaluated and science communication was facilitated (Hountondji 1983; Miller 1983, 1998; Durant 2000; Raza et al. 2002; Du Plessis and Raza 2004; Riana and Habib 2004). Reflection on the scientist’s responsibilities was fostered and supported by sociol-

ogists in India and philosophers in Africa, resulting in an acknowledgement that the process that falls between the gathering of scientific facts and the assimilation of these facts is much more complex than previously thought. A differentiated and multidisciplinary academic approach, reflecting the various strategies for science communication – ‘practical scientific literacy’, ‘civic scientific literacy’ and ‘cultural scientific literacy’ – became part of the communication process in developing worlds (Shen 1975). The theme of science communication in developing regions has become one of

the most prominent in the field of public communication of science, signalled by, among other things, the attention it receives in leading sources about research in developing areas, such as Scidev.net. Initiatives, debates and – more recently – studies of science communication and

public engagement with science have multiplied in many areas of the developing

world, often in parallel with the growth of research and development (R&D) investments, with such variety and richness that it would be implausible to map them thoroughly within the space available here. In this chapter, a short overview is presented on some of the main issues raised by

the development of science and technology communication processes, using the cases of India and Africa and of South Africa in particular.